Speciality publishing house CyberMedia has announced plans to overhaul its websites and apparently bring them up to date with current standards. Cybermedia owns 12 publications related to technology, outsourcing and entrepreneurship – PCQuestDQIndiaVoice&DataCIOLDQChannelsDQWeek,BioSpectrumBioSpectrum Asia,  LivingdigitalGlobalServicesTech Review India and Dare, most of which as we had mentioned in March are in desperate need for an overhaul. Contrary to what Cybermedia CMD Pradeep Gupta has said in the press release, we don’t think the company has been proactive with development.

What’s interesting is that Cybermedia is also signing a three year deal with Kreatio (from Srishti Software company, it appears) incorporate features for web, smart phones, tablets and digital devices. Some plans mentioned in the Press Release:

– Interactivity: Full interactivity to visitors enabling them to use, comment, recommend and forward the content, using a variety of social media tools
A single sign-on registration: will allow readers to navigate, discover, curate and propagate content across all publications, on all platforms.
– Advertiser Dashboard: Advertisers are being given access to an interactive dashboard to monitor digital advertising and lead generation campaigns, offering them the opportunity to enhance, alter or cut budget allocations depending on their needs and campaign performance.
– Content Creation: “CyberMedia’s global team of 200-plus reporters using digital input-output devices– text, voice or video–will be able to connect to CyberMedia’s content management system and update content round the clock.”

Interestingly, Cybermedia says that it is creating a platform for taking feedback from all employees and partners for the redesign. Perhaps taking feedback from its readers would be a good idea.

Other Suggestions

Beyond technology platform changes, Cybermedia also needs to start updating its websites more regularly, and also decide how it wants to deal with its day to day content. Take Voice & Data magazine: there’s no way of figuring out what the latest news update on the website is, and when I checked earlier this month, there were hardly any updates for May, as if the site had been left fallow. Improving discovery of archival content remains a challenge for publications, but surely the latest content shouldn’t be an issue.

If you visit Voice & Data, the frequency of updates appears to have improved, but a certain consistency is required online. Contentwise there is significant overlap between publications. If you ask me, I’d say that it would be better to have one publication per genre at the back end, and to change the front end depending on whether a user is visiting Voice & Data, CIOL, PCQuest, DQIndia, or to share content across publications, the way the India Today group has done with its publications.